Originally Posted by bck
Hi, all! I'm going be studying abroad in Germany (Stuttgart) this summer. I just want to know what Germans usually wear for formal events, lectures at the university, casual wear, etc. At this point, the only things I'm sure I'm going to pack are: lots and lots of shirts, a couple of jeans, chinos, a blazer, a navy suit, couple of ties, belts, brown oxfords, running shoes, my normal gym attire, and personal furnishings. Basically, my look is sort of American prep. Is there a certain look that Germans tend to go for? Thanks.
I thought I'd answer your question instead of blurring out some random stereotypes: I have studied in Stuttgart myself and assume things have not changed a lot. If you go to Stuttgart University, I guess it will be most likely as an engineering/science/economics student? If so - the typical dress of your peers at school will be casual, but more "stylish" than the average US college student, i.e. replace flip flops, sweatpants and hooded sweat shirts by polo shirts, decent jeans/chinos and urban sneakers. In architecture things will be more sophisticated, in liberal arts (which are not a focus of this school anyway) more "alternative". Professors will also be a bit more formal than in the US: At Stuttgart University the majority of my (engineering) professors wore suit and tie or sport coat and tie on campus, whereas professors with ties seem to be a rare sight at US engineering/science schools. Things will be similar at TU Munich. Overall people in Munich are, however, dressed better than in smaller Stuttgart and also than in the US excl. NYC (comment of my Asian-born wife visiting Munich after years living in the US: "Nice to be in a place where people do not dress crappy").
Dress in business settings depends on the function with engineering being rather informal (jeans...) and finance or general management in traditional companies requiring a suit. I don't think there is a need for a tux unless you wanna go frequently to the opera or ballet (both is highly recommended in Stuttgart and/or Munich)
So and now back to stereotypes...all Germans are Jew-eating Nazis, all Brits stiff and sexually frustrated, all French smell, all Italians are lazy, the Poles steal, and Americans are all overweight, undereducated and can't find their own country on a world map. Did I miss something important?